Monday, August 15, 2011

Wildlife Visitors

We have had several visitors this summer, in fact, one of them stayed for over a month.  We had a marmot who took up residence until an old outbuilding in the chicken yard.

It dug a burrow under the building and came out to visit the weed pile that was right outside its door.  I keep the weed pile there so the chickens can scratch and eat at their leisure. 

The marmot usually stayed close to its burrow but did occasionally venture out into the chicken yard.

A couple of times I saw the marmot out where I throw the chickens their lettuce and such grabbing a tomato and running for cover.

If it saw me, it would give a high-pitched squeak and head back under the building.

I was going to borrow my neighbour's live trap so I could catch it and release it out in the country but it seems to have disappeared on its own.  

Our second visitor took me by surprise one day.  I was weeding under one of the grape arbors where we have bark as a ground cover.  The weeding is minimal so a quick trip every so often keeps everything under control.  Can you see the visitor?

Can you see it now?  I didn't see the toad until it hopped when I almost stepped on it.

It was quite large - almost the size of two of my fists.

Once it moved off to the side, the toad just sat there.  Its colouring was very close to the colour of the bark chunks.

It didn't move nor make a sound.  The toad probably likes it under the arbor because it is cool and shady and a multitude of bugs hide in the bark.

That was the only time I saw the toad but haven't gone looking for him either.  I figured, the arbor was a great place for it to live and eat all the bugs it wants.  I have no reason to go there until grape harvest time.



  1. Oh, I LOVE toads. We have a bunch of Western Toads in my yard. Which is really bizarre because I live in suburbia, no where near any kind of natural water. I've put a bunch of small pots on their sides, or nearly upside down and filled them with soft soil and leaves to give them cool places to sleep during the day.

  2. Great photos especially the marmot.